China has the largest elderly population in the world, with nearly 300 million people over the age of 60. It is expected that by 2035, China's population over the age of 60 will exceed 400 million, accounting for more than 30% of the total population.

Aging has given rise to a considerable silver economy, which is related industries that target the elderly.

In January this year, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Opinions on Developing the Silver Economy to Improve the Well-Being of the Elderly", which is China's first policy document named after the silver economy.

  Developing the silver economy will not only help solve the practical problems faced by the elderly population and help them improve their quality of life, but also help cultivate new development momentum and promote high-quality social and economic development.

The current scale of China's silver economy is around 7 trillion yuan, accounting for about 6% of GDP, and is expected to reach 10% by 2035.

In the future, the country will focus on cultivating high-tech products and high-quality service models, making the silver economy a sunrise industry, helping the elderly share the fruits of development and enjoy a happy old age.

“Preparing for old age” is included in the scope

  What is the silver economy?

Compared with the previous pension economy and pension industry, what new connotations does it have?

  Regarding this question, Liu Ming, Director of the Social Development Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, responded at the State Council’s regular policy briefing held on January 22.

  Liu Ming said: "As for the connotation of the silver economy, (we) after comprehensive consideration, we define it as the sum of a series of economic activities such as providing products or services to the elderly and preparing for the aging stage. Specifically, it includes the 'elderly stage'. "The aging economy' and the 'pre-aging economy in the pre-aging stage'."

  Incorporating related industries into the scope of “preparing for old age” (preparing for the elderly in the pre-aging stage) is a highlight of the silver economy.

  The development of a silver economy fully responds to and implements the national strategy of actively responding to population aging.

The "National Mid- and Long-term Plan for Actively Responding to Population Aging" clarifies China's institutional framework for responding to population aging from five aspects: wealth reserves, human resources, material services, scientific and technological support, and social environment. Among them, the expansion of health products and services and the development of pension finance Arrangements have been made to strengthen support for scientific and technological innovation and create a livable environment for the elderly.

Including "preparing for aging" related industries into the scope of the silver economy is an overall consideration within the national strategic framework of actively responding to the aging of the population.

  From the perspective of an individual's life cycle, the old stage and the young stage are not separated, but are planned as an organic whole.

By carrying out material and wealth reserves and health management in the pre-aging stage, only in the old age can we better realize the old age with contentment, contentment and happiness.

"For example, to promote the health and longevity of the elderly, we must focus on health throughout the life cycle and move health management forward to the young and middle-aged stage, laying a good foundation for a healthy and happy later life after entering the old age. Another example is, starting from the young and middle-aged stage We need to better plan wealth reserves, develop a multi-level pension security system, do a good job in pension finance, and continuously consolidate income security in the elderly." Liu Ming said.

  To develop the silver economy, we must cultivate high-tech products and high-quality service models so that the elderly can share the fruits of development and enjoy a happy old age.

To this end, the "Opinions on Developing a Silver Economy to Improve the Well-Being of the Elderly" proposes 26 measures in four aspects.

  The first is to develop people's livelihood undertakings and solve urgent problems and worries.

Guide catering enterprises, elderly care institutions, etc. to carry out meal assistance services for the elderly.

Expand home-based elderly care services, develop community convenience services, guide the rational layout of physical stores of daily products for the elderly, and develop embedded service facilities in the community.

Optimize health services for the elderly, strengthen the construction of geriatric medicine departments in general hospitals and traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, and promote the integration of medical care and nursing care.

Increase the construction and renovation of elderly care institutions to improve the care and service capabilities of disabled elderly people.

Enrich cultural and sports services for the elderly and organize various sports events suitable for the elderly.

Improve rural elderly care services.

  The second is to expand product supply and improve quality levels.

Give full play to the leading and exemplary role of state-owned enterprises and the role of private economic forces.

Promote the development of industrial clusters and plan the layout of about 10 high-level silver economic and industrial parks.

Improve the effectiveness of industry organizations and support the establishment of industrial cooperation platforms or consortiums.

Promote brand development and cultivate leading enterprises in the silver economy.

Carry out high-standard pilot actions and carry out standardized pilot projects in areas such as elderly care services and aging-friendly transformation.

Expand consumer supply channels, guide e-commerce platforms and large supermarkets to hold themed shopping festivals, and support the establishment of special consumer zones for seniors.

  The third is to focus on diversified needs and cultivate potential industries.

Strengthen the innovation of elderly products, create new forms of smart health care for the elderly, promote the application of intelligent nursing robots and home service robots, and vigorously develop the rehabilitation assistive device industry.

Develop the anti-aging industry, promote the in-depth integration of biotechnology and delaying geriatric diseases, and develop early screening products and services for geriatric diseases.

We will enrich and develop pension financial products and strengthen the connection between the research and development of pension financial products and services such as health and elderly care.

Establish a nationwide cooperation platform for the residential care industry and cultivate destinations for residential care.

Promote the construction of a barrier-free environment, carry out home aging-friendly renovations, and carry out digital aging-friendly capability improvement projects.

  The fourth is to strengthen factor protection and optimize the development environment.

Focusing on key areas such as rehabilitation assistive devices and smart health and elderly care, a number of forward-looking and strategic scientific and technological research projects will be planned.

Ensure the demand for land for elderly care service facilities and silver economy industries, and support the use of existing sites to rebuild elderly care service facilities.

All types of financial institutions are encouraged to increase their support for the construction of elderly care service facilities and silver economic and industrial projects.

Promote the construction of talent teams, improve data element support, and severely crack down on elder-related fraud in accordance with the law.

  Liu Ming believes that the silver economy covers a wide area and the diversified, differentiated and personalized needs of the elderly are becoming increasingly strong and urgent, but have not yet been effectively met, which contains huge development opportunities.

  The silver economy has the power of “youth”

  Li Yanzhu, a post-90s girl, is a young returnee who started a business in Yingde City, Guangdong Province.

After two years of hard work on the road to rural revitalization and entrepreneurship, she found a new direction of struggle.

  "The "Opinions on Developing the Silver Economy to Improve the Welfare of the Elderly" mentioned that 'developing the anti-aging industry' and 'promoting the research and development of cosmetic raw materials, formulas and production process design and development'. The direction of the 'Guochao' skin care product entrepreneurship that I am currently engaged in is related to The policy is very consistent!" Li Yanzhu told this reporter, "It is interesting to develop anti-aging products for the elderly! It not only responds to the national policy call, but also meets the health needs of the elderly. There will be a lot of potential in the future! "

  At the beginning of this year, Li Yanzhu went to some elderly care institutions in Guangdong to conduct research, and carefully studied reports on the silver economy published by major universities, various research institutions and consulting companies at home and abroad.

After careful consideration, Li Yanzhu decided to combine Yingde City's local sericulture industry and Ma bamboo shoot industry, using natural elements such as mulberry leaf extract, Ma bamboo shoot extract and black tea extract as raw materials to develop a series of products suitable for the elderly. Daily necessities and health care products.

  "It's really cool to use technology to empower the silver economy and help the elderly live a happy life!" Li Yanzhu said.

  In recent years, more and more “young” forces have participated in the silver economy and brought more innovative service models.

  In an old community in Sujiatun District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, 63-year-old Wang Yingqiu suffered from lumbar disc herniation and lived alone. She was once troubled by the daily chore of getting out of bed.

Later, during the aging-friendly renovation, the community replaced the beds with aging-friendly nursing beds based on Wang Yingqiu’s actual situation.

  "Pull the lifting rod and you can adjust the angle to help me get up," Wang Yingqiu said. In the 40-square-meter home, every detail, from the bedroom to the bathroom and the living room, has been adjusted by the community according to her needs.

  The designer who completed the house renovation for Wang Yingqiu's family is named Sun Tong, who is also a post-90s generation.

Sun Tong used to be a kindergarten teacher before engaging in the elderly care service industry.

In her opinion, taking care of the elderly has many similarities with taking care of children. "Being able to pass on my care to my grandparents is the reason why I chose this job."

  Chen Gang, director of the Yingkou Elderly Care Service Center in Liaoning Province, said that during the Spring Festival this year, all 135 staff members of the Yingkou Elderly Care Service Center were on duty to accompany 382 elderly people on New Year’s Eve. During the Spring Festival, at least about 100 staff members were on duty every day, the vast majority of whom They are all born in the 90s and 00s.

  Chen Gang also shared the daily life videos of the elderly on the online short video platform. Netizens praised the enthusiastic demeanor of the elderly in the elderly care center and the considerate service of the elderly care center.

  "I hope to build a bridge between the inside and outside of the hospital through video, so that the elderly can understand the outside world, and at the same time attract more social forces to pay more attention to the nursing center." Chen Gang said that during the filming process, the vitality of the young staff was also infected and inspired the elderly, making them active and beautiful, with a stronger desire for expression and yearning for beauty.

  Dang Junwu, deputy director of the China Research Center on Aging, believes that developing a silver economy can not only solve the problems of today's elderly, but also provide more entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young people, while providing security for society's elderly care issues.

  The development of the silver economy is inseparable from the joint participation of people of all ages.

There are elderly people in every family, and everyone will get older. The current needs of the elderly will be the future needs of the young people.

The gathering of social consensus and the response of more people have laid a good foundation for the development of the silver economy.

Liu Ming believes that focusing on solving the deep-seated problems of elderly care services and improving the happiness index of hundreds of millions of elderly people will also help young and middle-aged people to forge ahead and reduce family worries.

Therefore, cultivating related industries and promoting intergenerational harmony are both essential and necessary for developing a silver economy.

 Innovation turns "senior care" into "enjoyment of old age"

  Recently, at the senior citizen canteen in Xipan Community, Xixi Street, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, every time the meal was served, there was a figure in blue running around.

  After hurriedly grabbing a basket of boxed lunches and stepping onto an electric car, the man in blue rushed to the residential building to deliver meals to the elderly at home.

  This guy in blue is Li Hongbo, a food delivery person on the "" platform. He is now an exclusive food assistant for the elderly in the community.

Li Hongbo has been delivering food for five years and has been delivering food in the Xipan community. He told this reporter: "Last year, I learned that the community was looking for people to deliver food to the elderly in the community. Under the call of the '' platform, I signed up immediately." Li Hongbo skillfully took a basket of lunch boxes from the community senior citizen canteen, packed them up and went straight to the residential building.

Li Hongbo delivers 16 meals at a time and takes 40 minutes to deliver meals for two months. The elderly are very familiar with him and often wait for him at their doorstep.

Li Hongbo carried a small book with him to record the tastes and needs of the elderly, which was well received by everyone.

"For us, food delivery is just a small thing, but for the elderly, it is an inseparable need. I am willing to keep delivering food." Li Hongbo said.

  In Hangzhou, organized by the community, the elderly canteen serves as a centralized distribution point, and the "" platform is introduced. Through multiple subsidies from the government, enterprises and individuals, a new diversified meal assistance mechanism for the elderly is gradually being explored and formed.

This mechanism uses market-oriented means to meet the diversified and personalized dining needs of the elderly and reduces meal assistance costs by providing preferential policies to the supply side.

  Hangzhou’s meal assistance mechanism for the elderly is just a microcosm of the development of China’s silver economy.

Currently, policy innovations and technological innovations in various fields are turning "senior care" into "enjoyment of the elderly."

  The survey shows that life issues such as eating and daily care are still the most important concerns for the elderly and are also the most urgent issues to be solved.

In recent years, some places have been making new attempts.

  Chengdu began to explore the implementation of embedded elderly care services in 2018, which means introducing the services of professional social elderly care institutions into the community to provide meal assistance, day care, medical care and other services.

We can flexibly embed the services that the elderly can only enjoy in professional institutions into the community and home environment to create a nursing home at their doorstep.

  One of the major advantages of this embedded service is that it can combine the services of professional elderly care institutions with grassroots work in the community. At the same time, it can rely on various national preferential policies and use various resources to provide all-round support for the operation of elderly care institutions, both for the elderly and the elderly. Improve welfare and ensure the economic benefits of service organizations.

  In addition to meeting the basic needs of food, clothing, housing and transportation, the elderly now have increasing demands for spiritual life, and the resulting consumption potential is also huge.

  On the eve of the Spring Festival, on the stage of a cultural performance organized by the National University for the Elderly, the elderly were all full of enthusiasm and showed their gains in the University for the Elderly with wonderful and diverse programs.

  As a window for the elderly to expand their lives and get in touch with society, the curriculum of universities for the elderly has become more and more abundant in recent years. In addition to the traditional literary and artistic courses for the elderly, it has also launched many practical life courses, such as short videos on mobile phones, isolation courses, etc. Modern education, etc., and the teaching content and teaching methods have been adapted to the aging needs, so as to conform to the learning habits of the elderly as much as possible.

  Fan Xianrui, vice president of the National University for the Elderly, said: "We try our best to provide educational services based on the needs of the elderly. We also show diversity in the courses. At present, the system of the National University for the Elderly has served 22.14 million elderly people. "

  Nowadays, travel is no longer exclusive for young people, and the silver-haired people also have "poetry and distant places".

In recent years, many tourism service agencies have launched various tours for the elderly, and the middle-aged and elderly people are gradually becoming the largest source of tourists in the Chinese tourism market.

  As living standards and health expectations improve, the elderly’s willingness and ability to consume continues to increase, and their consumption patterns tend to be diversified. Medical care, continuing education, cultural and sports tourism, and health and wellness services have become popular.

  At the same time, with the rapid development of digital technology and the rapid growth of elderly Internet users, e-commerce, telemedicine, smart elderly care, etc. have penetrated into the lives of the elderly, and the growth potential of the silver economy has been further stimulated.

  In the capital market, many listed companies have increased investment in the elderly care field and actively deployed sectors such as elderly product production, pension finance, elderly care services, and elderly care real estate.

In addition, some large and medium-sized cities have incorporated the construction of age-friendly cities into their development plans.

  "Technology companies in the field of elderly care in my country are stratified according to needs and constantly replenishing the chain. Generally, companies plan their layout from three perspectives. The first is the basic level of 'elderly care', including food, clothing, housing and transportation, and the second is the core concerns in the lives of the elderly. Medical and health care, and the third is entertainment and leisure at the level of 'enjoying the elderly.' In addition to these three levels, some companies have also begun to explore the fourth level of 'doing something for the elderly.'" Public Administration, Development Research Center of the State Council Feng Wenmeng, a researcher at the Institute of Human Resources, said that especially in terms of food, clothing, housing and transportation, technology companies have a lot to do so that the elderly can rely on technology products to improve their self-ability and perform more "self-help" actions, including robotic arms, hearing aids, intelligent early warning linkage devices, etc.

  Yang Junfeng

Yang Junfeng